Interview with LE IENE’s Nina Palmieri
What you guys might think of Italian TV is about to change – we’d like to think it has changed already. Author and now reporting journalist on video for Le Iene Show, a satirical sketches program on politics and consumer issues, Giovanna Nina Palmieri is a real woman telling the stories of real women, having also presented ‘Sex Education’ and ‘XLove’. In her ‘Reservoir Dogs’ black suit she travels the world, meeting, touching and living the lives of some extraordinary people, their unbelievable stories of injustice, prejudice and often loneliness.
Not just a pretty face, eh?
Hers is a very hard trick to pull off: she does it with irony, mostly self and of course a huge smile that’s hard to pull away from.
We spoke to her here in Milano just before she was jetting off to the Philippines to shoot for the show.
How do you feel about having recently settled in Milan for the show?
”Well, I am a traveller by nature so it kind of comes easy for me to feel at ease with a place that is new to me. I am originally from Abruzzo and if there is one thing that totally changes how my life goes by is the fact that down there we tend to poke our noses into other people’s lives more. So for example the local shop lady reminds me she’s got some pot plants to give me, at the restaurant I get moaned at because I haven’t been around for a while: these things make you feel appreciated, the fact that down there in Rome and Naples – where I actually lived up to now – people seem to want to care more about you. In Milan this doesn’t happen or maybe it hasn’t just for me yet.”
What are your favourite places to go here in Milan?
”I am obsessed with vintage so I love strolling around Brera to see if I can get some pieces to add to my never ending collection of bits and bobs. I love what we call ‘riso saltato’ so I am happy whatever restaurant is picked as long as they make that and of course fresh fish, and I don’t mean sushi, I mean proper made in Italy baked or grilled.”
What do you think about the women you see around here?
”Here, compared with Rome, women seem to have that extra detail, accessory or styling touch that make them always look edgier and cooler. Milan is strongly influenced by design and fashion so it doesn’t surprise that people in general try to push those buttons when picking what they are going to wear for the day. So on the tube you may find yourself wondering what the hell the girl sitting in front of you had in mind when she thought that yellow square chunky shoes were going to cut it for whatever she was supposed to do that day: here people go all the way when they choose a look, and that makes them unique for sure.”
Having travelled and lived abroad, do you think the perception of Italian TV has changed?
”It will never change, but that’s not necessarily negative: our TV style has always had the format of pretty girls plus a male presenter since its very beginning. It’s difficult to see that changing as television is made of people to be watched, although I believe that as in my case, if you are woman and choose a career in television it is a myth that you only need to be ‘qualified’ to be on video, i.e. being a bombshell. There are so many examples of women from Italian television that have inspired me and pushed me to pursue my career in this way: take Franca Leosini and her compelling interviews to life-sentenced prisoners.
I started modelling myself when I was 16, as I am really tall and slim, but I have never had a thing for going on camera, I’d rather be behind it or prefer using it to film my packages, I actually feel more in symbiosis with the person I am interviewing if I am recording while I ask the questions.”
How do you think others see you?
”I was given the nickname ‘leonessa’ – lioness – by a mechanic I once stopped by and I think that it is the perfect one for me as my hair is as big and crazy and maybe shaped like the crest of a lioness, but I also like to to think I am as tough as one as well.”
We are totally enticed by Nina’s tales, she’s fun and laid back: what else would you expect? She is up for some suggestions if you have any on places where she can find her fave things, we have given her some tips, post yours here.